AN EXPLORATION company is set to drill 55 holes at a former tin mine near Indian Queens ahead of possible plans to reopen the site.
Treliver Minerals has notified Cornwall Council of its intention to carry out tests at Gaverigan Farm, which could employ 250 people if resurrected.
The scheme has already received the cautious backing of St Enoder Parish Council, although the authority has yet to officially lend its support.
Chairman Michael Hopkins told the Cornish Guardian: "We are happy with any move that provides employment locally, as long as it doesn't cause pollution. That amount of people employed, who otherwise wouldn't be, has got to be a good thing."
Treliver Minerals began similar test-drilling work at Treliver Farm, near Ruthvoes, a year ago but has still not confirmed if it plans to develop a mine.
Company boss Mark Thompson has said he is "optimistic" that up to $1 billion of tin could be mined from the site, creating 600 jobs.
Some locals had previously voiced fears over pollution and compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) on nearby homes.
However, Mr Thompson has always said neighbours would be consulted fully before any action was taken and there were currently no plans to make offers to buy land or homes.
It was reported in October that CPOs could be made on affected properties at 20 per cent above the market value.
Private companies are not permitted to make CPOs but they can be made by councils and other bodies with statutory powers if a development is deemed to be "in the public interest".
Owners are always well compensated, and also have the option to object to the CPO.
Mr Thompson said an economic viability study would have to take place, as well as further test-drilling, before the company could even consider the land it might need to purchase around Treliver.
Before a mine could be built a full planning application would have to be made to the 'mineral planning authority' – in this case Cornwall Council.
He said the company had so far conducted itself with "full transparency", and had held a community event last summer for anyone living within 1km of Treliver Farm.
Mr Thompson said: "The vast majority of local residents, particularly those who were born and bred in Cornwall and understand the county's mining heritage, are strongly in favour of our activities and would like to see us succeed by reviving tin mining in Cornwall."